Transplanting Rosemary Outdoors
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Jim
Posted on: February 02, 2010

My Mother-in-law just gave us another rosemary bush which is a little more than a foot tall. We have gotten them before but had very little luck in keeping them alive. The problem, from what I have read was probably under watering. My mother-in-law has a green thumb and has a rosemary plant that she has transplanted outdoors years ago and is doing excellently. We live in Augusta, Georgia, USA. We are right on the line of 7b and 8a hardiness zones. My main question is when would be the best time to transplant this outdoors?

The best time would be early spring, after all danger of frost is past. Make sure that you augment the soil that the plant is supposed to be planted in so that it is a sandy loam with well-rotted compost added for water retention. After planting your gift, water it well and add a mulch of about 5cm (2") of bark or more if you use hay or straw. Water frequently the first growing season, that is every time the soil gets dry to about half to one inch (1-2cm) below the surface. Fertilize once every two weeks. The resulting strong growth should convince your mother-in-law that you have joined the ranks of the green thumbs! To not lose the plant in your first winter, wrap it in bubble wrap, but leaving the top open so it won’t cook. Repeat it for the next three winters, but after this the plant should have reached its maximum hardiness. If you lose it then anyway, try again with the variety ‘Arp’, as it is the hardiest varety.

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